100th birthday of Taro Okamoto

26 Feb

Do you know who 岡本太郎 (Taro Okamoto) was?

Taro Okamoto,
26 Feb 1911 - 7 Jan 1996

He was a Japanese abstract artist and sculptor.
He is quite famous in Japan.
His most well-know piece is probably the huge sculpture that he made for the “World Expo ’70” in Osaka titled 「太陽の塔」 (“Tower Of The Sun“). It still stands at the site of the expo in Osaka.

「太陽の塔」 ("Tower Of The Sun") by Taro Okamoto

I haven’t been to the “Taro Okamoto Museum” but I have seen three of his pieces many times…because these three pieces are displayed in public here in Tokyo.

These are the 「若い時計台」 (“Young Clock Tower“) in Ginza, Tokyo:

「若い時計台」 ("Young Clock Tower") by Taro Okamoto

The 「子供の木」 (“Children’s Tree“) which stands in front of the 「子供の城」 (“Children’s Castle“), which is a fun, educational activity-center for young children in Tokyo. I took my children to this place a few times when they were young and I saw this sculpture in front of the building.
I knew immediately that it was by Taro Okamoto because it matched his distinctive style.


「子供の木」 ("Children's Tree") by Taro Okamoto

And I’ve also seen his painting titled 「明日の神話」 (“Tomorrow’s Myth“). This painting is Mr. Okamoto’s depiction of the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II.
This painting had been in Mexico for about thirty years and was only returned to Japan a little over two years ago.
It’s now on display inside 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) in Tokyo.


「明日の神話」 ("Tomorrow's Myth") by Taro Okamoto

Well, if 岡本太郎 (Taro Okamoto) was still alive he would be 100 years old today.

I learned that today is the 100th anniversary of his birth when I accessed the Google search engine earlier today and noticed that the logo looked like Mr. Okamoto’s artwork.

Google's logo to commemorate Taro Okamoto's 100th birthday.

4 Responses to “100th birthday of Taro Okamoto”

  1. metalodyssey February 28, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    That’s pretty cool of Google to do that with their logo. Commemorating a legendary artist on such a “high traffic” level seems to be too few and far between these days. Modernistic and abstract are Okamoto’s art you’ve show here and I like them. 🙂


    • tokyo5 February 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      >That’s pretty cool of Google to do that with their logo.

      Google often does such things with their logo to commemorate a holiday, event, or anniversary.

      >Okamoto’s art…I like

      Well, come to Tokyo and check out the Taro Okamoto Museum!


      • metalodyssey February 28, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

        Visiting Tokyo will happen some day. I have a check off list of places to visit and Japan/Tokyo is on it. 🙂

        BTW that goes to show how much I really look at that Google logo! Unless you did not point it out, I would never have known that Google messes around with their logo like that.


      • tokyo5 March 1, 2011 at 12:13 am #

        Really? You never knew about the various Google logos?

        Sometimes they let school-kids design a logo. A couple of months ago a Japanese school girl had her art displayed on the site.

        I mentioned Google‘s “Pac-Man” logo that could actually be played in my post about Pac-Man’s 30th “birthday”:


        Also, you can check out past Google logos here:



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